Axis Bold as Love


So this was another Used Kids pick up.  I found it there for $5 one day over the summer when I was on campus for class.  The only two songs I knew on it beforehand were “Spanish Castle Music”, which was on the first Guitar Hero game as an instrumental, and “Little Wing”, which quite a few people say is the spiritual predecessor to Pearl Jam’s “Yellow Ledbetter”.  I’ve read that those two tracks were the only tracks that Jimi actually played live, and that the rest of this album was more of a “studio record” concept.  Actually, after the very experimental opening track, “EXP”, in which the guitar whirls around from speaker to speaker like a UFO flying away, the first true song, “Up From the Skies”, sounds like beatnik jazz.  The lyrics kind of have a spacey, beatnik quality to them too.  But, to get back to “Little Wing”…I wish it was longer.  It’s only 2 1/2 minutes, and for some reason there is a studio fade right when it sounds like Hendrix is about to take the guitar solo to new heights.  It is a great song though, and it does have a very similar sound to “Yellow Ledbetter”, one of my favorite Pearl Jam songs.  Overall, Axis is a cool record with a cool vibe…a bit more experimental than Are You Experienced and a bit less bluesy than Electric Ladyland.

Other lists: “Little Wing” is #366 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  See the entry for Are You Experienced (#15) for Jimi’s other RS accolades.  As far as I can tell, the Jimi Hendrix Experience is the only band (other than maybe the Sex Pistols, who only had 1 album) to have their entire studio output (3 albums) on the Top 500 Albums list (and all in the top 100 to boot).

Ch-ch-changes: This album dropped one spot from its original position at #82.  The reason why gets a little complicated: CCR’s Chronicle was added to the list, and Radiohead’s Kid A jumped above it, but the Zombies’ Odyssey and Oracle dropped below, for an overall drop of 1 spot.

My favorite track: “Little Wing”

Honorable mention: “Spanish Castle Music”

A word from the Princess: “This is not breakfast music!”

Quote: “White collared conservative flashing down the street, pointing their plastic fingers at me.  They’re hoping soon my kind will drop and die, but I’m gonna wave my freak flag high, high.”